Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Disney Jasmine Collection Storylook Eyeshadow Palette

If there is one place where Disney kicks ass, it is marketing. And it's no surprise that Sephora, makeup giants that they are, wanted in on the action.

Still, when Disney and Sephora released their first collection, inspired by Cinderella, I hardly batted an eye. I don't have a whole lot of nostalgia for any of the princesses that spend half the movie cleaning.

But then came the Aladdin collection... Unlike Cinderella, Princess Jasmine is a certified badass. If you stick Princess Jasmine (or Mulan!) on an eyeshadow palette and make the design sexy and modern... How can I say no?

It's been 21 years since Aladdin came out. That means that women in their mid- to late-20s grew up with Aladdin in their VHS collection. Thus, this is truly perfectly timed. By the way, I look forward to the 2029 release of the WALL-E Disney Storylook Eyeshadow Palette. Don't let me down, Sephora!

The box it came in.
The packaging on this product is truly spectacular. Although it is evocative of the movie, it manages to be both mature and whimsical at the same time.

Dude, the barcode is shaped like Genie's bottle.
Although even the external box spends its time being gorgeous, the true masterpiece is the artwork on the palette itself.

I fucking love packaging.

Rear view.
The eyeshadows slide out of the box when you pull on the adorable pink tassel.

Fuckin' tassels! Look at that! How have you not already purchased this?

The product itself contains 15 shadows, a deep blush and a shimmery bronzer.

After getting myself all worked up about how beautiful everything is, I pulled out my brushes and started swatching!

Two swipes of each color.
Blue Oasis: This is a soft, demi-matte aqua. If you could record the way my face fell when I swatched this, it would probably be retrospectively hilarious. This was the first shadow from the Storylook Palette that I tried, and it is super powdery and not at all pigmented. It doesn't stay put and honestly, you can hardly put it on in the first place.
Trust Me: This is a frosty copper. It applies beautifully.
Abu: This is a dark, metallic bronze. Given that this is a fucking shimmery brown, which is perhaps the easiest eyeshadow color to make, this is pretty unexciting. (Also, I feel like I have to say it: this is NOT the color that Abu was in the movie!)
Ali Ababwa: This is the only matte color in the lot. It's a very pale beige. I think this is the absolute worst shade in the bunch. The pigmentation is truly horrid. It's powdery and generally difficult to apply.
Sultana: This is a pink-y champagne. Although it is hard to see in my swatch, this applies wonderfully and has great pigmentation.

Two swipes of each color.
Friend Like Me: This is the color of "mom jeans". Its intensity is adequate, but by no means impressive.
Master: This is a dusty eggplant. Again, this applies fine, but it isn't anything special.
Cosmic: This is a coppery light brown. This shadow is beautiful, rich, and very pigmented.
Cave of Wonders: This is a goldenrod. This is a little bit powdery, but performed acceptably.
Sand in the Glass: This is a golden beige. It's fabulous and a great multi-use color.

Two swipes of each color.
Lapis: This is a deep turquoise. Although I think my swatches were adequate, this didn't perform particularly well on my actual face. It easily got muddy and faded.
Mystical Wonder: This is a purple-y medium blue. Adequate pigmentation.
Rajah: This is a fantastically bold bright orange. This is perhaps the most pigmented shade in the entire palette.
Arabian Sunset: This is a sparkly orange-red. Adequate pigmentation.
Bazaar: This is a warm medium brown. This is powdery and difficult to use, which is especially ridiculous for just a generic color.

Blush and bronzer.
Thrilling Chase: This is a shimmery plum blush. I don't think it was super flattering on my face. It ended up making me look a bit ruddy. However, I think that this would be beautiful on anyone with medium or dark-toned skin.
Golden Sands: This is a coppery bronzer. It was a bit too orange for me, but it was still workable. Again, though, this would probably be beautiful on darker skinned women.

Blush, bronzer and eyeshadows on human face.

Value: There are 15 eyeshadows, each at 0.035oz, so 0.525oz total. There's one blush at 0.12 oz and one bronzer at 0.14oz.

If we value this palette similarly to the way that we value Urban Decay Makeup:

The Urban Decay Naked Palette costs $50 for 0.6oz ($83.33 per ounce). The Urban Decay Naked Flushed Bronzer/Blush/Highlighter Trio costs $30 for 0.49oz ($61.22 per ounce). At those rates, this palette would be worth $59.67.

If we value this palette similarly to the way that we value normal Sephora Collection products:

The Sephora Collection Natural Instincts Eyeshadow Palette costs $28 for 0.602oz ($46.51 per ounce). The Sephora Collection Colorful Blush costs $14 for 0.11oz ($127.27 per ounce). The Sephora Collection Bronzer costs $16 for 0.3oz ($53.33 per ounce). At those rates, this palette would be worth $47.16. (Although that high price is only because of that absurdly expensive blush! If you take out the blush, it is worth a mere $31.89.)

The actual cost of the palette is $55.

Given that several of the eyeshadows have very poor pigmentation, that not everything is in consistently flattering colors, and that you probably own several similar colors already, this palette is not worth the price IF you only want it for the makeup.

But let's be real here. You want it for the packaging. And that's totally okay! The packaging is seriously amazing! I still like this palette and am glad I purchased it despite some of the problems. But it's worth knowing where those problems are before you shell out your cash.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Drugstore Dupes to the Test: Nars Orgasm vs. Milani Luminoso

The internet is an amazing invention. Without it, I would have seen substantially fewer videos of cats chasing laser pointers. Unfortunately, sometimes the internet leads us astray. This is an example of one of those times.

If you ask the almighty internet, Nars Orgasm and Milani Luminoso are dupes of each other. This information is being touted everywhere from beauty blogs to the fucking Chicago Tribune.

Milani Luminoso vs Nars Orgasm
Nars Orgasm is a beloved product. Unfortunately, it is also a pricey product. At $29 for 0.16oz, this blush costs $181.25 per ounce. Thus, it's no surprise that beauty bloggers have been keeping an eye out for a comparable product at a cheaper pricepoint. In that, at least, Milani Luminoso fits the bill. It costs $7.50 for 0.12oz, or $62.50 per ounce. That's almost a third of the cost of Nars, ounce per ounce.

However, even looking at the two products side by side in the pan, it is clear that there are going to be at least mild differences between the two. Luminoso appears to be more of a peachy color, whereas Orgasm is clearly significantly more pink.

In the pan
When you look at swatches, the difference is even more pronounced. It also becomes clear that the finish on the two products is substantially different. Luminoso has significantly more shimmer but no glitter, whereas Orgasm has hunks of glitter in it.

Luminoso is significantly more pigmented than Orgasm. Although in some products (e.g. eyeshadow), more pigment is pretty consistently 'better', blush doesn't work that way. For fair skinned ladies like me, a super pigmented blush is difficult to work work and easily veers into the territory of clown makeup. Darker skinned women may be able to pull off a super pigmented blush like Milani Luminoso, but I recommend that paler women exercise caution. Nars Orgasm, on the other hand, can easily be applied with either a light or a heavy hand, making it much more versatile.

Swatches: Luminoso on top, Orgasm on bottom
Still not convinced? I swatched the two products over NYX Milk. To quote my boyfriend, "Well, the top one is orange and the bottom one is pink." They aren't even in the same color family! These blushes really have nothing in common. I am baffled that there are people who classify these as "dupes".

Swatched over NYX Milk: Luminoso on top, Orgasm on bottom
As a note, I did do a four-hour swatch test and both products have very good staying power, although Milani Luminoso is a tad bit more smudgy.

This stark differences between these products are also clear when the products are on your face. Nars Orgasm creates a beautiful, natural-looking flush.

Nars Orgasm on Human Face
Milani Luminoso, on the other hand, makes it look like I rubbed my cheeks against the chest of an Oompa Loompa.

Milani Luminoso on Human Face
I am sorry, Chicago Tribune Senior Correspondent Ellen Warren. I am sorry, assorted beauty bloggers. I understand why you would want these products to be successful dupes. But wishing won't make it so. I wish you so much luck in your self-assigned task to find dupes of popular makeup products. But you are dead wrong on this one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Is A Cosmeceutical?

It's a theme we've been dancing around already in some previous Beauty Bullshit posts.

Companies who product beauty products are beginning to make drug-like claims at a increasing rate. At the heart of this problem are products that qualify as "cosmeceuticals".

So, what is a cosmeceutical?

The name gives a bit of a hint: it's a mixture between the word 'cosmetics' and the word 'pharmaceuticals'. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a cosmetic is classified as a product "for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance", whereas a drug is "intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals". Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products that make claims akin the claims made by pharmaceutical companies. They claim a drug-like effect, but don't have sufficient scientific backing to ground their claim. Rather than hiding flaws, cosmeceutical companies claim to reduce or prevent the flaws. Big claims plus sciency diagrams create a huge market share for companies peddling pseudoscience.

Totally going to fix all of your problems.
As the FDA points out, "The [Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic] Act does not recognize any such category as 'cosmesceuticals'. A product can be a drug, a cosmetic, or a combination of both, but the term 'cosmeceutical' has no meaning under the law." An example of a product that would qualify as both a cosmetic and an over-the-counter drug is anti-dandruff shampoo. It has a cosmetic purpose (to get your lovely locks clean) and a drug purpose (to stop your scalp from looking like a snowstorm).

Cosmesceuticals, on the other hand, are nothing more than cosmetics that make scientifically misleading claims about their effect on the human body.

Interestingly, it frequently works against the best interest of the companies manufacturing these products to provide solid support for their claims. If an ingredient has been demonstrated to be effective using rigorous scientific methodology, it will be classified as a drug and, consequentially, be subject to the same regulatory procedures that the FDA requires of drugs. This means that, unlike cosmetics, they would need to either complete the 'New Drug Application' process or subject themselves to an 'Over-The-Counter Drug Review'. They would also need to maintain significantly higher manufacturing standards, to register their businesses and drug products with the FDA, and to follow standard drug labeling procedures. All these procedures can be costly. And, of course, the FDA can deny approval of the product, meaning that money has gone to waste.

Rather than follow these stricter standards, companies that make cosmeceuticals would prefer to make drug-like claims, but maintain the relatively lenient standards afforded to cosmetics companies. They will test for safety, but there is no legal requirement to test whether the product lives up the claims made by the companies who manufacture these products. As a result, the information about cosmecuetical "active" ingredients are severely lacking, and objective studies that examine specific formulas rarely exist at all. These products are sold at the expense of consumers, the majority of whom believe that the FDA tests these products for both safety and efficacy. (It doesn't.)

Although the FDA maintains the right to inspect factories, request a change in labeling, or remove a dangerous or misleading product from circulation, these actions are all taken after the fact. Thus, it is usually worth it to these companies to simply hope no regulators bother to investigate, and proceed to make misleading claims.

The consequences of this lack of regulation adds up to big profits. The United States currently has the largest cosmeceutical market in the world, reaching $9.4 billion last year.

Though, in the scientific community, the term "cosmeceutical" is seen as a subtype of pseudoscience, many companies have embraced the term because it sounds long and sciency and vaguely makes people think of effective pharmaceutical products. For example, Physicians Formula has produced an "Aging Cosmeceutical Skin Care Set" which claims to "[target] the visible effects of chronological aging..." In actuality, any company that labels its product a "cosmeceutical" is doing you a favor: they are labeling their pseudoscience so that you can stay far away!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pulling It Off: Purple Blush

Purple is the best color that has ever been. I love oranges and reds and pinks and browns and beiges, but purple is the color that really makes my heart sing.

As a result, I'm always on the lookout for a good purple blush. It may sound intimidating, but all it takes to pull off a purple blush is a little confidence and a touch of daring.

In the past month, I have tried three very different purple blushes:
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Creme Colour Concentrate in Miriam, $20 for 0.28oz, or $71.43 per ounce. (As a note, the size on the Sephora website is incorrect. The product is actually 8g, not 0.08oz as they state.)
Makeup Forever Powder Blush in Lavender 9, $20 for 0.08oz, or $250 per ounce.
Anna Sui Rose Cheek Color in Mystic Rose, $36 for 0.21oz, or $171.43 per ounce.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Creme Colour Concentrate in Miriam

OCC Miriam packaging
This cream product is sort of a dusty, vintage plum color, or a French lilac. It doesn't come with a way to get the product out of the tub, so keep in mind that you will likely want to get a little spatula or something to avoid sticking your fingers into the goop. (Since I am not very classy, I have been using the lash cards I got from Ipsy.)

OCC Miriam Swatch
Although this product looks bold in its packaging, I found it to be a little bit more subtle than what I was looking for. Blended out, it definitely took on a very pink hue.

The creamy consistency, however, was stellar, and it lasted extremely well, and left my skin looking dewy and pretty.

OCC Miriam on Human Face
Who would love this: This is the perfect product for people who aren't sure whether they want to commit to a bright purple blush. It is clearly an unconventional color, but, at first glance, it can pass as a traditional shade of blush. This is also great for people who love double duty products, since this can work as an eyeshadow, a lip color, or a blush.

Makeup Forever Powder Blush in Lavender 9

Makeup Forever Packaging

Whoever named this color did not go to the correct kindergarten class, since this clearly is not lavender. This is more of a bright violet or an orchid. (Come on, even just saying "purple" is much more accurate than calling this lavender!) It has a lovely matte finish.

The packaging on this product is very small, making it very pricy per ounce. If purple blush is going to become very regular for you, this will be an expensive habit to keep. However, for an occasional treat, this will do the trick.

Makeup Forever Swatch
The product swatches beautifully. It isn't super pigmented, but that would be a big disadvantage for this color of product. On my face, it is subtle but still unique and eye-catching. It is also very clearly purple.

Makeup Forever on Human Face
Who would love this: Anyone looking for a purple blush should check this sucker out. This is a true purple that is light enough to work for someone with fair skin, but build-able enough to work for medium or dark-skinned women.

Anna Sui Rose Cheek Color in Mystic Rose

Anna Sui Packaging

This is a very soft, shimmery light purple, that comes out almost as a thistle color. And, like all Anna Sui products, the packaging is absolutely exquisite. (I have the Anna Sui hairbrush and it makes me feel fancy every single day!)

Anna Sui Swatch (It's really there! I swear to god!)
I had a difficult time swatching this because the color is so light. It was barely visible on camera. Because it is so subtle, it definitely feels more like a highlight than a blush. I was worried it wouldn't show up on my face, but it turns out my fears were unjustified. This product adds just a hint of shimmery purple. The effect is spectacular. I look like a fucking woodland nymph. The fact that it smells like a fresh bouquet of roses doesn't hurt, either.

Anna Sui on Human Face
Who would love this: Someone who loves the intangible "otherness" of a purple blush should look into this product. It is very subtle, but it creates an unmistakable ethereal look that I have never seen in a makeup product before. In addition, Anna Sui's stellar packaging and beautiful rose scents makes this ideal for someone who loves luxurious makeup.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Nude vs the Original Meet Matt(e)

TheBalm is a San Fransisco-based company known for their quirky, vintage-style packaging and high quality products.

TheBalm's Meet Matt(e) is an eyeshadow palette featuring a variety of matte colors. This January, they released a new, much larger matte palette using primarily nude tones: Meet Matt(e) Nude.

On the cover of the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette, theBalm proudly proclaims "Size Matt(e)rs". You have to appreciate a makeup company that is willing to make penis jokes on their packaging. 

The original Meet Matt(e) costs $34.50 for 0.33oz of product, or $104.55 per ounce. Meet Matt(e) Nude costs $42 for 0.9oz of product, or $46.67 per ounce. (For reference, Urban Decay Naked Basics is $90 per ounce.)

Obviously, if price per ounce is your concern, Meet Matt(e) Nude is a much better deal. However, even if absolute cost is your main issue, the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette is only $7.50 more than the original, and it has almost three times the product.

Size comparison
That being said, there are a few benefits to the original Meet Matt(e) palette. Because it is small, it is more portable. It also has a brush, which makes it easier to use on the go. (Still, I don't really use the Meet Matt(e) brush because it's a pretty shitty brush... But I appreciate the effort!) And, of course, if 'all nude' palettes aren't your thing, the original palette has greens and blues in addition to neutrals.

The Original Meet Matt(e)

The packaging for the Meet Matt(e) palette features a moderately handsome, 1950s-looking white dude with very, very shiny teeth. (They are literally sparkling, you guys.)

The original Meet Matt(e) has the following nine shades:
Matt Smith- A warm beige
Matt Gallagher- A medium brown
Matt Ramirez- A dark, reddish brown
Matt McDonald- A dark, greyish blue
Matt Horowitz- An ocean blue
Matt Chung- A very light, baby-was-just-born pink
Matt Batali- A dark brown with a hint of eggplant
Matt Schilling- A teal
Matt Patel- An ashy grey-brown

Two swipes of each color
Although I find the darker colors to be very pigmented, the lighter colors (especially Matt Smith and Matt Chung) fall very short. They are, however, useful for 'no-makeup makeup' looks!

A neutral look created using the Meet Matt(e) palette
 Meet Matt(e) Nude

The Meet Matt(e) Nude palette features the same moderately handsome dude, except now he's more tan.

I like the fact that there is a mirror large enough to actually use.
Meet Matt(e) Nude has the following nine shades:
Matt Johnson- A charcoal-y blue
Matt Garcia- A cool dark brown
Matt Malloy- A rich ivory
Matt Rosen- A "the Beast from Beauty and the Beast" colored brown
Matt Wood- A purple-ish dark brown
Matt Singh- A hospital-gown colored peach
Matt Abdul- An almost lavender colored gray
Matt Lombardi- A buttery, yellowish beige
Matt Hung- A medium gray

Two swipes of each color
All of these colors are very creamy and well pigmented. Matt Malloy was the biggest surprise. Every matte white I have ever tried as been pretty much a failure. This one is quite pigmented. Matt Lombardi is the biggest disappointment, and it is actually still relatively pigmented. Because all of these shades are winners, I feel that not only is the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette less pricey, it is higher quality.

If I had had a crystal ball when I purchased the original Meet Matt(e) palette, I wouldn't have bothered. I feel that the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette outshines it by a significant margin.

A neutral look created using the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette
Miscellaneous Related Soapbox Time

If you look at the people featured on theBalm's packaging, you might notice a pattern.

Pictures all gracelessly stolen from
TheBalm REALLY likes featuring white people on their packaging. I was able to find one item featuring a woman of color (their liquid eyeliner). However, for a San Fransisco-based company, this lack of ethnic diversity is not appropriate or acceptable. (This would be unacceptable for any American company, but given that San Fransisco is the 2nd most ethnically diverse city in the US, this oversight is especially egregious.) I think that this is a real shame, and I hope theBalm steps it up in the future.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Get It Before It's Gone: Sephora Collection Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil

Unlike fancy makeup blogs who get free stuff sent to them and/or review things right when they come out, I have the joy of picking things out a thousand years too late, right when they go on sale!

Sephora Collection Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencils
The Sephora Collection Ultra Vinyl Lip Pencil claims to be "the coverage of a lipstick and the intense shine of lip gloss... in a precise pencil." In that, it most certainly succeeds. I purchased two colors: "Fancy Red" and "Coral Glow". Both are very opaque and true to color. Fancy Red is a deep, true blood red, with an almost foil-like finish. Coral Glow is a bright orange with significant shimmer and sparkle.
Fancy Red on the left and Coral Glow on the right.

These pencils are marked down from $12 to $5 each. Each pencil is 0.1oz, meaning they would have originally cost $120 per ounce, but now cost $50 per ounce. For reference, the Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm costs $6.99 for 0.13oz, putting it at $53 per ounce. On the higher end of the spectrum, the Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Pencil is $19 for 0.1oz, or $190 per ounce.
Lip Pencils
However, these couldn't be replaced by any old lip color or gloss pencil. The vinyl finish is something that's both visually striking but still incredibly wearable.

The lasting power is also pretty spectacular. Fancy red passes the four hours + one meal test with flying colors. There was some slight fading, but it faded very evenly. By the end of the time period, my lips were still brightly colored and very even.

Fancy Red Four Hour Test

Coral glow isn't as long lasting, but still performs admirably. There is significant fading towards the insides of my lips, however.

Coral Glow Four Hour Test
Overall, I am really impressed with this product. Considering that they currently cost less than drugstore products of the same nature, I would recommend them to anyone who loves bold lips.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Does It Work?: Holographic Nail Polish

Unlike traditional nail polishes, which get their color from various pigments, the colors in holographic nail polishes are derived from structural factors.

We call these polishes "holos", but, in fact, they are displaying a characteristic traditionally referred to as iridescence. Iridescence is defined as "a change in the hue of the object exhibiting it as the angle of vision is varied". In Greek mythology, the god "Iris" was the personification of the rainbow. Thus, the term "iridescence" comes from the Greek word for rainbow. This rainbow is clearly evident in holographic nail polish.
Color Club's "Harp On It"
The mechanism of this rainbow pattern is based on simple properties of physics.

Before we get into them, though, we are going to need to talk a bit about light.
Light if a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is emitted in elementary particles known as photons. It displays characteristics of both waves and particles. Lots of kinds of waves exist in the electromagnetic spectrum. However, we only can see a small amount of those waves. Whether or not we can see light depends on the light's wavelength. A wavelength is the distance before the wave's shape repeats. The magnitude is how high the wave goes (on the graph). A higher magnitude wave would be perceived as brighter.

Visible light is light that falls between 380 and 740 nanometers. (For reference, there are 1,000,000,000 nanometers in a meter.) A slightly longer wavelength produces infrared radiation, whereas a slightly shorter wavelength produces ultraviolet radiation. Different wavelengths within the visible spectrum create different colors of light. White light contains all wavelengths of visible light.


If an object absorbs all wavelengths of light, it is perceived as black. If it absorbs certain wavelengths but not others, it is perceived as the colors of the wavelengths that are reflected back at you. (For example, chlorophyll, the photosynthetic pigment that famously gives plants their green color, is capable of utilizing all wavelengths except green. The green is reflected back at you, and thus chlorophyll is perceived as green.) If an object reflects all wavelengths of light, it is perceived as white.

Thus, you can probably predict how holographic nail polishes get their effect: by utilizing structural tools, they are able to change how light reflects and thus get a unique pattern. Indeed, the rainbow-like hues that occur in holographic nail polish are caused by two factors working together: interference and diffraction. Both of these processes fall under the broader umbrella of "coherent scattering", in which ordered light scattering elements produce distinct patterns.


Diffraction is a process that occurs when a light wave encounters an obstacle. In essence, the light wave 'bends' around the obstacle.

The light seems to 'bend' around the corner in this picture.
Diffraction grating consists of a series of grooves over a reflective surface. Some of the light is reflected normally, whereas the rest is split into its component wavelengths and reflected in different directions.

Because light with a longer wavelength has a higher diffraction angle than light with shorter wavelengths, the light separates into its component parts, creating distinct bands of color in the order of the rainbow.
Diffraction creates these rainbow bands of color.

In holographic nail polish, the physical properties required for diffraction grating are present in the silver particles in the nail polish.


Interference is also an important component of holographic nail polish patterning.

Although light has properties of both waves and particles, for the purposes of this explanation, we are going to focus on light's wavelike features.

Waves of light that are the same wavelength can interact in two ways: via constructive interference and destructive interference.

Constructive and destructive interference
Constructive interference occurs when the two waves of light are "in phase". That means that the phase difference is in multiples of 2π. The phase difference is the distance between the two waves having the same frequency. Because the wave is a simple sine graph, it repeats its pattern every 2π. That means that the two wavelengths look essentially the same. In constructive interference, the two waves interact to create a resultant wave that has twice the magnitude of the original waves. When a viewer sees visual light that has been enhanced by constructive interference, they see a very bright light.

Destructive interference occurs when two waves of light are "out of phase". That means that the phase difference is in π, 3π, 5π or so forth. In this case, the two waves cancel each other out. When a viewer sees visual light that has undergone destructive interference, they do not see any light at all.

If they are not in multiple of pi, you get a combination effect, creating a new wavelength from the two old wavelengths.

So, how does this contribute to the "holographic" effect in your nail polish?

The silver particles in your nail polish are coated with a thin layer. When the light hits the silver particles in your holographic nail polish, some of it bounces off the top layer, whereas some of it penetrates and then bounces off the particles themselves. When it enters the film, its wavelength changes. These waves of light can interfere with each other, forming a brand new wavelength that is slightly out of phase.

Thin film interference, illustrated.
Both the angle of incidence and the thickness of the film can play a role in how these two wavelengths interact. Thus, when you change the angle you are using to examine your beautiful nails, you are changing both of those factors (film thickness changes because, depending on the angle, the light may have further to go or less far to go to reach your eye). As a result, the color seems to change as you move around. At certain angles, there will be constructive interference, whereas at others there will be destructive interference. As certain waves are canceled out (via destructive interference), a pattern emerges.

A tapered film causes the wavelengths to differ at different places. Consequentially, you will end up with a series of parallel fringes that also create a rainbow-like pattern, just like you might see in a soap bubble, since certain parts of the bubble are thicker than others.

When diffraction and interference work together, they can create startling patterns in your nail polish known as holographic effects.
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